* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where cannibalism is just another way of saying, "Howdy, neighbor! What's for dinner?" Say hello to Eric Farwell, who would prefer that you put a little barbecue sauce on him first.

I Think Our Cannibal Holocaust Should Have A Vegan Option

By: Eric Farwell

Mom, Dad, I’ve been thinking. I know we’re gearing up to go out and slaughter thousands of people in order to cook them for our own delicious gain. I know years of planning have gone into this, and that both of you have emptied your 401ks in order to afford all the Saran wrap and Wolfgang Puck cutlery we’ll need. However, I just turned 14, which has really allowed me to wake up and see things for what they are. Mom, Dad, I’ve decided to become a vegan, and insist that there are options for me at the post-holocaust meal.

Did you know that veganism is a dietary practice believed to reduce colon cancer, heart disease, and a lack of entitlement? If not, I can show you the YouTube video that broke my mind open to the shackles of meat eating. It’ll only take two minutes and twenty seconds of your time. You’re always saying that cannibalism is what makes us special, makes us unique. I’m happy you both feel that way, but I’m pretty sure my diet is more special than yours. I mean, some restaurants are vegan only. Have you ever been to a people-only restaurant? That’s what I thought.

Think about it: after we kill all these people, we’re probably going to get arrested, like, immediately. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but I think this cannibal holocaust is going to end up more like a cannibal rodeo. I mean, not everyone struggles with taking clear pictures with their phones like you guys do. Either way, what would you rather have: news coverage focusing on how horrible and evil we are, or on how brave you are to include a vegan option at your mass murder feast? If some of our future meals don’t die right away, maybe they’ll be hungry, and vegan. Offering them some roasted potatoes or broccoli stir fry could go a long way to expressing, “Hey, we’re not monsters. We just want to eat men, women, and children after we’ve tended to their dietary needs.”

Also, veganism is linked to healthy bowel movements. I don’t know about you guys, but after eating people for most of my life, defecation has become like a ghost: I believe it’s real, but I’ve no evidence to go on. I know you guys have had some medical scares in the last few years. Dad, before you ate him, our dentist said your teeth were riddled with cavities and close to falling out. Mom, you’re at risk for heart disease because you’ve been eating heavyset tourists for years. It keeps me up at night sometimes, because I want both of you to be around for a long, long time to eat many, many more innocent people. If this is too much to ask, how about a compromise? I’ll eat one small, frail adult if you’ll agree to have quinoa and tofu foie gras as your sides. At the very least, please watch that YouTube video. It’s very informative.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are sitting on the sofa, remote in hand, waiting for the new season of Game of Thrones to begin. So many cliffhangers to be resolved. What will become of Lady Sansa Stark, for example? If Karen Ritter has her way, the Lady will finally find the perfect mate.

Lady Sansa Stark Composes Her Personal Ad After Jumping Off The Ramparts

By: Karen Ritter

I hail from a noble, titled family but am open to almost anything. So far, I’ve had really bad luck with men. But still believe Mr. Right is out there somewhere — hopefully south of the Wall!

I’m a Winterfell girl but dig the parties (and clothes!!!) at King’s Landing. But then my stupid fiancé had to go and ruin it all by beheading my father.

He was a total hottie — my fiancé, that is. Poor Pops (R.I.P. Daddy!) had the body hair of a wooly mammoth. LOL. Thank the Old Gods, I got Mom’s silky auburn tresses, wide-set eyes, high cheekbones. And look bitchin’ in capes, gloves, leather…anything goth.

It’s true, Joffrey was cray cray but he was also King and totally crushed that sick royal robe, with the embroidered lions and shit. So you can’t really blame me. I was so young back then. (Now I’m seventeen.)

Plus, he had these yummy, to-die-for eyes. Joffs could literally slay you with those baby blues. One minute he’s gazing at you like you’re the only girl in the room. The next, lifting his crossbow, taking aim.

MOS, I whispered the first time it happened — cuz his seriously scary mom was glaring right at us.

“Joffrey Lannister Baratheon! How would it look if you shot your fiancée?” And she took away his weapon and gave him a time out.

After that, J-Ba was pretty chill and decided not to murder me after all. Just strip and beat me. Then he must have realized that would be wrong, too. So he ordered Ser Meryn Trant to strip and beat me instead.

I suppose there was some tension between us — ever since his mother killed my direwolf and pushed my little brother out the castle window, crippling him for life. Never mind all the stress of planning a big wedding. (Try drawing up a guest list when all your relatives have been, like, slaughtered! And how would I ever get Arya into a bridesmaid dress? I mean, I can’t even.)

Actually, though? It was the menu that put me over the edge. I’m thinking dragon egg caviar followed by a choice of braised basilisk or crushed Kraken but Joffrey was like, “Why don’t we serve your brother’s head on a platter, San-San?”

“Oh my God, did you really just say that? Maybe we should serve your head on a platter, Joffrey.” Then we got into this huge fight and I almost pushed him off the pier.

“My bad,” I said, later. “But I guess I’m still upset about that time you decapitated Dad. I mean, how can we move forward as a couple if you keep showing me my father’s head on a pole? That is, like, so one of my triggers.”

“A non-apology apology,” he said, lifting his crossbow.

“Go ahead, marry Margaery! See if I care!” I said, running for my life. Luckily, I have these long, supermodel legs and run mad fast. Still, I couldn’t stop crying. I mean, my bf was trying to kill me again, I was really PMS, and, for all I knew, the engagement was off!

That reminds me, I’m running from Ramsay Bolton now — my second husband. (I was briefly married to Joffrey’s uncle. Nice guy but way short and I’m like 5’9 so it didn’t work out.)

My new in-laws are a nightmare: they murdered my mom and brother at a dinner party. Which is pretty much a deal breaker, except that his family lives in the castle I grew up in and I thought it would be neat to move back in, get my room back…Not!

Turns out Ramsay has all these intimacy issues and is also a pyromaniac, but with, like, people. Being with someone who goes around burning others without ever taking their feelings into account is really difficult, besides being really gross. When I realized he was probably never going to change, I ghosted him. No good-bye, no note, just jumped off the parapet with Theon — aka Reek. (Don’t ask.)

P.S. Theon has this enormous crush on me. Awkward. The whole time we’re falling through the air, I just wanted to die. Then it occurred to me that I really was going to die. Or worse, get majorly injured, and if I landed on my face, who would marry me then? And OMG, was I even wearing clean underwear???

So I shut my eyes and prayed: Dear God of Seven, don’t let there be too much blood. You know everything (you’re God!) so you know that red, especially blood red, really sucks with my skin tones. Totally washes me out…

That’s when I noticed icky Theon was wrapping his scrawny legs around my waist…I was, like, totally creeped out when I had this ginormous epiphany: the Gods had put Theon there to cushion my fall! So I stopped punching him in the face and kicking him in the balls and hugged him back because it became super obvious to me that Theon was just a tiny cog in the wheel of a grand, cosmic plan designed to unite me some day with my real soul mate, the one I was always destined to be with, who was so not Theon, you know?

I must have blacked out then. When I opened my eyes, I was lying in about fourteen feet of awesome, fresh powder! Theon’s bones are crushed (bummer) but I’m as perfect as ever! And 100% available, by the way.

So here’s my ad: Loyal, gorgeous, modest, religious babe, into needlepoint and heavy metal, seeks tall, handsome knight in shining armor — noble and strong, tender and true, gallant and buff — to worship and love me till death do us part.

But whatevs. Will date anyone who’s not a total psychopath. Not being the product of incest also a plus. Man preferred but male-identified okay, too. (Miss you, Brienne of Tarth. Why have you stopped stalking me?)

Willing to relocate. Wildings fine but no White Walkers, please. Those rags you’re wearing? So last season.



* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we do occasionally weigh in on weighty matters such as the minimum wage. We freely admit our ignorance of such things, but in our defense, we are no more ignorant than anyone else pronouncing on this issue. Also, we don't get paid very much to do this. And we're tired of wearing a hairnet and saying, "Would you like fries with that?"

Unconsidered Consequences Of Doubling This City’s Minimum Wage

By: Roger Taylor

An overnight grocery stocker can finally afford decent weed thanks to the pay bump, but the higher pay comes with higher expectations from his bosses. As a result, he can no longer find time to smoke while on the clock, which is kind of the whole point of being an overnight grocery stocker.

For the owner of a cupcake shop, the tipping point between whimsy and catastrophe turns out to be somewhere between the old wage and the new. After rethinking his life, he shuts the business down and goes back to school to finish that computer science degree. His career in software development is long and prosperous, but he spends the rest of his life a bit miffed about the cupcake thing.

A few customers at a haunted hayride note that the assorted ghouls and chainsaw-wielding maniacs seem a little complacent this year, and wonder how convincing a werewolf you can be if not motivated by actual hunger. One guy asks for his money back and doesn’t get it. He goes to bed angry, which his marriage counselor keeps warning him not to do.

Starbucks raises the price of its Pumpkin Spice Latte by 20 cents. An enterprising pair of middle managers quit their jobs and try to capitalize on the change by marketing do-it-yourself pumpkin-latte-making kits. These prove less popular than anticipated, perhaps because they’re just cheaply made espresso machines with a complimentary can of gritty powdered pumpkin. The entrepreneurs end up having to explain the failure at job interviews and on first dates. They tend to get pretty defensive about the whole thing, and are pretty sure that it cost them job opportunities as well as sex opportunities.

A two-income household becomes a one-income household as one of a married pair of minimum wage earners is laid off while the other has his income doubled. Now spending all day looking after her child, the former earner is forced to confront the possibility that the job was less about necessary income and more about avoiding interaction with her annoying kid.

As they’d never negotiated pay higher than the new minimum wage, Meat Cutters Local 161 becomes redundant and shuts down. Its chief, unable to siphon funds from a non-existent union, has to find new ways to pay for his ever-expanding collection of Matryoshka dolls. He starts looking for work that doesn’t involve slicing head cheese, which is a shame really, because he’s awfully good at it.

As a cost-cutting move, the Subway restaurant chain replaces its employees with an elaborate system of pneumatic tubes. This is great news for Subway, as it turns out customers love having their sandwiches shot at them out of air pipes. It is, however, bad news for the gormless former employees, who soon find that few other employers will tolerate their distinctive mix of boredom, hostility and sneezing on things.

Now in less dire financial straits, a security guard at Harry Winston backs out of a planned diamond heist. His would-be partner in crime has to find a new jewelry store to rob, wasting weeks of careful planning. When they run into each other at a holiday party months later, they say hi and it’s cordial and all, but it seems like maybe the chance for a lasting friendship kind of went out the window.

A woman parking her car at the paid lot of a community playhouse thinks, “Really now, that’s too much,” after calculating that the lot attendant who took her money — attentive enough, but nose deep in a paperback when she pulled up, and perhaps a bit too cheerful for a man on the clock — could now easily afford a respectable studio apartment. The thought recurs a few times over the next few hours and mildly affects her enjoyment of the play.



* Welcome to The Big Jewel, the first choice of wine connoisseurs everywhere. And while you're sniffing the bouquet of this rare vintage, don't forget to raise your glass to David Bradley Isenberg, making his first appearance with us.

Wine Reviews By A Recently Decertified Sommelier

By: David Bradley Isenberg

Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages (2013) — Notes of willow bark, sage, lavender. No berries. Well, I guess, in-between-berries is a better way of thinking about it.

Ruffino Chianti (2014) — Bubbly notes of cherries and rose, like Tammy’s laughter from when I infused that grappa with lavender soap from the Ladies’ room. Yet the wash was astringent and sour, over-ripened with the taste of the grappa that poisoned the only man in the tri-state area allergic to lavender.

Ouled Thaleb Médaillon Red Zenata (2012) — Meaty, like the sacrificial lamb Café Provence made of me to avoid litigation.

Vintjs North Coast Pinot Noir (2012) — Clear nose, full body. It has focused flavors, determine not to let this one hold them back from their dreams.

Chateauneuf du Pape (2012) — Lemongrass mouth feel. A bitter wash, much like a semester and a half of an online executive MBA program.

Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone (2014) — Floral. Best enjoyed to celebrate a small victory, like receiving a fourth LinkedIn endorsement for public speaking!

Chateau les Reuilles Bordeaux (2013) — Citrus wash, maple syrup mouth feel, hints of blueberries, rotten apples — a thread of sour, condescending pears. I know, the Bordeaux has so much. I did hear about the promotion. No, really it’s a great step forward for him. I mean, why wouldn’t I be happy for Dan? Dan’s great.

Jamesport Vineyards Red Blend North Fork Melange de Trois (2004) — Sweet nose. Hints of raspberries, strawberries, and maple syrup. Great to share with friends. True, loyal friends.

Marques de Riscal Rioja 150th Anniversary Gran Reserva (2004) — A breakfast wine. Dry, spicy wash with hints of tobacco, spiced oranges and meaningless sex. Weak tannins. Pairs well with weed-butter scrambled eggs, Pizzalicious Pringles and season 7 of Frasier.

Frey Vineyards Organic Zinfandel (2013) — Rustic mouth feel. Last night I dreamt that I was walking through a Loire Valley vineyard, then curled up in the soil beneath a Gamay vine and melted into its terroir like sweet, cold rain.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (2014) — Strong barnyard notes, perfume and shoes. A woman’s leather shoes. Her thin legs walking away on the wooden floor to whomever, wherever. Tammy and Dan deserve happiness.

Bricco Mondalino Malvasia di Casorzo Dolce Stil Novo (2013) — It tastes like fucking grapes, okay?